In these pages you might notice a trend – Earthling’s talking more passionately and assertively about user experience. The reason for that is simple, the era of user expectation has arrived. By “user expectation” we mean the nearly subconscious demand for a set of standard experiences (layout, functionality, information), and a belief that the site owner has placed a user’s needs at the center of the design.
At a minimum site owners need to meet those expectations, and if they are serious about growing the business – they will look for ways to exceed them. SMS messaging, for ecommerce sites in particular (though other applications are also useful), is one powerful way to maximize user experience.
SMS (short message service, more generally known as text messaging) technology is proving to be very popular with customers. By using SMS to communicate key information to customers site owners can see the benefit of keeping users happy, lower administrative overhead, and provide more direct communication.
For example, let’s say a product is out of stock or delayed (a common pain point in supply chain crunch times), SMS messaging offer’s real-time communication to customers who have been waiting for a product. Ideally, they receive the message and immediately return to the site to purchase – thwarting a competitor who might have the item in stock or forcing the customer to miss the opportunity if product demand is high.
To get these advantages you will need a messaging service (also known as a SMS gateway) integrated from your site that does the work of sending out the messages. Once connected, the SMS service can be configured to meet your particular customer needs and help elevate customer experience to a competitive advantage.
Customer-Facing Benefits of SMS Messaging
- The digital-first generation expects this as a “normal” feature
- Customers appreciate the extra touch of relevant status updates
- Product links can be shared via SMS
SMS Messaging Benefits for Site Owners and Administrators
- More automatic communication via SMS means less admin time spent answering questions about order or product updates
- Admin can send test messages to check functionality
- SMS messages can be sent triggered by events (such as a package is in stock, shipped, items on sale, seasonal deals)
- Compatible with multiple SMS gateways (Bulksms, SmsGlobal, GupShup, Kutility, Msg91, MsgClub, Plivo, Textlocal, Twilio)
- Relatively simple and inexpensive to implement
- Admin can get notified about system errors on the site
Proceed with Care
- Don’t overwhelm the customer with messages
- Allow the customer to opt-in to receiving messages
- Let customers opt-out whenever they want (mandated by law)
There are many benefits and very few downsides to SMS when implemented correctly. It is inexpensive, quick, and helps your site look up-to-date to meet customer expectations.
Think SMS might be right for your customer service needs? Give us a call and we can chat about it! Ask for Erin at 608-729-6066 or email courtenay (at) earthlinginteractive.com